Book pairing: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" & butterscotch rice crispy squares
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is not the next chapter of the beloved series. Although J.K. Rowling's name blares across the front cover, she is not the author. It's not even a book; Cursed Child is a play, meant to be seen, heard and felt.
Knowing all of that is the first step in enjoying Cursed Child.
The two-part script follows an expanded cast of characters: Harry and Ginny's middle son Albus, Ron and Hermione's daughter Rose and Draco's son Scorbius. Our original heroes are middle-aged. Some 20 years have passed, and their children are students at Hogwarts. A couple of them are less well-adjusted than the others.
Albus and Harry's relationship is strained; the son feels he can't please his father and the father feels he can't connect with his son. Scorbius becomes Albus' best friend and the two, desperate for adventure and the chance to correct an old wrong of Harry's fall prey to a plot that involves, mainly, going back in time.
As any student of fiction — and, frankly, logic — knows, you don't mess with the past. When you mess with the past, the present gets messy.
On the page, Cursed Child could seem lacking. It doesn't have the rich detail that made the original series so, well, magical. And the plot is less complex as well.
So why did I read it? I wanted to be back in Harry Potter's world. And for one quiet day, I was. I was riding the Hogwarts Express, lurking in the Forbidden Forest and creeping through Godric's Hollow. I liked that the story assumed I knew what a Time Turner and the Floo Network were.
I grew up with Harry Potter, learning spells and dreaming of joining Gryffindor, but I haven't had much time lately to re-read the books. That's mostly why I enjoyed Cursed Child: it's a quick stop trip to the magic world, not a full journey.
Just like Cursed Child, these butterscotch rice crispy squares are relatively low-effort. I used brown puffed rice for them because I'm an adult (and also that's apparently all you can get at Whole Foods), but I still dressed them up with butterscotch chips because when I think of Harry Potter, I always, always think of Butterbeer, too. These squares, like this play, get major points for nostalgia.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 10 ounces vegan marshmallows, mini or cut into small pieces
- 5 cups puffed rice cereal, plain or brown
- handful butterscotch chips
- cooking spray
In a medium pot, melt butter over low heat. Meanwhile, line a 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
Once butter is melted, add small marshmallow pieces and raise heat to medium-low. Stir until melted, breaking up marshmallow pieces as you go. When melted, remove pot from heat. Fold in puffed rice cereal, one cup at a time.
When puffed rice cereal and melted marshmallow are fully incorporated, transfer to prepared baking dish. Spray hands lightly with cooking spray to prevent sticking and press puffed rice into dish until flat. Press your desired amount of butterscotch chips into the surface of the mixture. Let cool at room temperature for 1.5 to 2 hours. When cool, cut into squares are serve. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days.